Case: In re Various Known and Unknown Agents of [Redacted]

Redacted | Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Filed Date: 2007

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Following 9/11, the Bush administration undertook the "Terrorist Surveillance Program," which included warrantless wiretapping of foreign communications arguably covered by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Title I's requirement of a probable-cause warrant for wiretaps of certain electronic communications. The program was described in the New York Times in December 2005; in response, in 2006, the decision was made to seek FISA Court approval of the surveillance. The FISA Court issu…

Following 9/11, the Bush administration undertook the "Terrorist Surveillance Program," which included warrantless wiretapping of foreign communications arguably covered by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Title I's requirement of a probable-cause warrant for wiretaps of certain electronic communications. The program was described in the New York Times in December 2005; in response, in 2006, the decision was made to seek FISA Court approval of the surveillance.

The FISA Court issued two orders on Jan. 10, 2007, approving continuation of the surveillance of the content of foreign communications. Under traditional FISA, tapping of a "facility" depends on demonstrated probable cause to believe that the "facility" is being used by an agent of a foreign power/international terrorist. "Facility" has usually been interpreted to mean, for example, a phone number or an email address. But in this matter, one FISA Court judge (Judge Malcolm Howard) accepted the government's argument that a facility could be something far broader--not just a particular phone number or email address but the "gateway or cable head foreign targets used for communications," because terrorists were probably among the millions of people whose communications used that gateway. Minimization rules then were imposed, governing the searching and use of the communications. We don't have the date on which the order was entered, but we do have an additional order, entered on 4/5/2007 and expiring 5/31/2007, extending the first order.

The FISA Court's subsequent denial of the reapplication for authorization for these surveillance orders can be found in the Clearinghouse at NS-DC-68.

Summary Authors

Edward Mroczkowski (3/23/2015)

People


Judge(s)

Howard, Malcolm Jones (North Carolina)

Vinson, Roger (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bradbury, Steven G. (District of Columbia)

Eisenberg, John A. (District of Columbia)

Gonzales, Alberto (District of Columbia)

Olsen, Matthew G. (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Howard, Malcolm Jones (North Carolina)

Vinson, Roger (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bradbury, Steven G. (District of Columbia)

Eisenberg, John A. (District of Columbia)

Gonzales, Alberto (District of Columbia)

Olsen, Matthew G. (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Standard Minimization Procedures for Electronic Surveillance Conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA)

Dec. 13, 2006

Dec. 13, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief

[Redacted]

Memorandum of Law in Support of Application for Authority to Conduct Electronic Surveillance of [Redacted]

Dec. 13, 2006

Dec. 13, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief

CIA Minimization Procedures for Information from FISA Electronic Surveillance Conducted by NSA

Dec. 13, 2006

Dec. 13, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Support of Application for Authority to Conduct Electronic Surveillance of [redacted]

In re [redacted]

Jan. 2, 2007

Jan. 2, 2007

Pleading / Motion / Brief

[Redacted]

Declaration of [Redacted] NSA Program Manager for Counterterrorism Special Projects

Jan. 2, 2007

Jan. 2, 2007

Pleading / Motion / Brief

[Redacted]

Order

Jan. 10, 2007

Jan. 10, 2007

Order/Opinion

[Redacted]

Order

In re Various Known and Unknown Agents of [Redacted] Presumed United States Persons

Jan. 10, 2007

Jan. 10, 2007

Order/Opinion

Redacted

Order and Memorandum Opinion

In re [redacted]

April 3, 2007

April 3, 2007

Order/Opinion

Redacted

Order

In re [redacted]

April 5, 2007

April 5, 2007

Order/Opinion

Redacted

Order and Memorandum Opinion

[Redacted]

Aug. 2, 2007

Aug. 2, 2007

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—Foreign Targeting (702, 703, 704)

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2007

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Government

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Case Details

Causes of Action:

FISA Title I Warrant (Electronic Surveillance), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1812

FISA Title VII targeting order (Sections 702, 703, 704), 50 U.S.C. 1881a, 1881b, 1881c

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 2007 - 2007

Content of Injunction:

Warrant/order for search or seizure

Reporting

Monitoring

Issues

General:

Record-keeping

Records Disclosure

Search policies

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues